MANILA – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings survived an endgame rally by TNT KaTropa for a 96-93 victory in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After seeing its 14-point edge turned to a 92-all count, Stanley Pringle surged the Kings ahead with a layup before Justin Brownlee canned in two free throws to escape with the win.
Japeth Aguilar finished with double-double 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Brownlee posted 24 points, 16 rebounds and six assists.
The Kings moved up to a 6-3 win-loss record.
LA Tenorio and Pringle also submitted double digit scoring with 19 and 14 markers, respectively.
The Kings notched the win despite the absence of Gregory Slaughter and Negrense Joe Devance.
Trailing for most part in the opening half, the Kings started strong in the third canto behind conversions from Tenorio, Brownlee and Aguilar as they took a 74-68 advantage.
The Kings went on to build its largest lead at 82-69 edge after a triple by Tenorio but the KaTropa slowly clawed its way back until forcing a deadlock at 92-all on a triple by Roger Pogoy.
With the defeat, the KaTropa slumped to second spot in the standings at 7-2to a tie with the Meralco Bolts, which rolled to its fourth consecutive win in the first game as it defeated Columbian Dyip, 92-74.
The Bolts had the upper-hand since the opening quarter behind Allen Durham and Raymond Almazan as they went on to build a 45-29 halftime edge but the Dyip never gave up as it trimmed the deficit to single digit several times in the second half.
Meralco went for the kill in the fourth quarter as consecutive baskets from Durham allowed them to take an 84-67 that later went up to its largest at 92-71 on a triple by Nico Salva.
Durham had double-double 34 points and 18 rebounds, while Almazan added 18 markers for the Bolts. Jaymar Perez tallied 21 points as the Dyip slumped to its second straight defeat to slid down to 4-6 slate./PN